Why I Joined The Fight Against Childhood Cancer – St. Jude Blog Tour

 

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Last Saturday morning, I was up extra early to make sure I was on time for the St. Jude Walk/Run here in Dallas. To be honest, I was tired and jet lagged and I really wanted to snooze my alarm a few more times, but I knew HAD to be there. It was important to me to SHOW UP and WALK.

My husband & I have always donated to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every year we would watch the St. Jude Thanks & Giving programs and I would cry my eyes out while watching the stories of kids who were battling childhood cancer.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend 3 days in Memphis visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the St. Jude Blog Tour.  st-jude-blog-ambassador-veepeejay st-jude-blog-tour-veepeejayDuring the tour, myself and 10 other bloggers (now official St. Jude Blogger Ambassadors) from around the country got to experience first hand, the amazing work that is being done at the hospital. Although I have seen stories of St. Jude families on TV, nothing could really prepare me for the experience I was about to have.

st-jude-wagons-veepeejayst-jude-corporate-sponsors-veepeejayThe first thing that stood out to me is the fact that St. Jude is not a sad place. Despite the serious, living saving work that happens there, it is a place filled with HOPE. Even if you only spend 5 minutes at St. Jude, you can’t help but be inspired by all the resilience and bravery that permeates the air and fill the walls around you.

kay-kafe-st-jude-blog-tourAfter our initial briefing with the St. Jude/ALSAC staff (ALSAC is the fundraising body for the hospital) we had lunch at the Kay Kafe. One of the special things about St. Jude is that it only has one cafeteria, where doctors, kids and their families, visitors and staff all eat.

childhood-cancer-awareness-st-jude-veepeejay The founder of St. Jude, Danny Thomas wanted the cafeteria to resemble a family table, a place where the entire family could gather to eat. The Kay Kafe is staffed by chefs and serves a variety of food offerings to cater to each patient’s needs and cravings. The fresh vegetables used in Kay Kafe comes from St. Jude’s own garden.

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats pediatric cancer and other life threatening diseases. The hospital is staffed by the world’s best doctors, researchers and scientists who are committed to ensuring that “no child dies in the dawn of life”. The flags of all the countries represented at St. Jude are all displayed in the Danny Thomas Atrium.
st-jude-children-hospital-blog-tourOne of the most amazing and unique things about St. Jude is that families NEVER receive a bill for treatment, food, travel or housing while St. Jude. The staff at St. Jude wants to make sure that all any family has to worry about is helping their child live. 
I know you’re probably thinking, “how is this possible” ? Well 75% of the the budgeted costs are covered by donations from public contributions. St. Jude also has some amazing corporate sponsors who support their work
Mind boggling FACT: It costs $2 Million dollars a day to run St. Jude.
target-house-st-jude-veepeejay-blog-tourWe got to visit the Target House where families from all over the world, with long term treatment plans live FREE of cost. One of the things I love about St. Jude is that they cater to the entire family. Celebrities such as Brad Paisley have rooms in the house that they personally decorated to ensure that the families are comfortable while there.

Art & music therapy also play a huge part of the St. Jude experience.
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The work of St. Jude has taken the survival rate of childhood cancer from 20% to 80% in just 50 years! It was such a blessing to get to see the results of the life saving work, first hand. Our tour guides for first day, were two former patients (now employees) of St. Jude, Joel & Tayda who shared their amazing stories with us.
Each patient at St. Jude is assigned a number and Joel was patient 10,529. St. Jude has now treated over 45,000 kids. tayda-st-jude-patient-childhood-cancer

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If there is one thing I would like you to takeaway from this post is the importance of helping to raise awareness for childhood cancer and the work of St. Jude.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

How else can you help support the work of St. Jude?

Walk/ Run – The St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer is taking place in 58 cities around the country. Go HERE to find an event in your city.

DONATE – In addition to being a St. Jude Blogger Ambassador, I have also signed up to be a St. Jude Hero. This means that I have committed to raising funds to support the life saving work of St. Jude all throughout the year.

CLICK HERE to donate here to help me reach my goal.

Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing more about St. Jude and ways you can join the fight against childhood cancer.

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With my blogger friend Nicole from The Natural Colest-jude-walk-run-dallas-veepeejay-natural-cole

After visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and seeing the incredibly amazing work that is being done there everyday, and the bravery of the children and their families, I know I could not just sit by and do nothing. I was inspired to do more, to get up early to walk, to support…to JOIN THE FIGHT! I ask you too join the little warriors of St.Jude in their big fight! 

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  • Christine St.Vil

    Vashti, Im so glad you were able to have this life-changing experience. I was so pumped up and motivated to participate in the walk this past weekend because I had a newfound understanding of just how much it means to the patients and families.

    • I’m so glad I did. I felt the same way about the our walk. I had to be there no matter what.

  • This is an amazing opportunity, I’ve supported St.Jude in a variety of ways, I don’t personally know any kids with cancer but how can you not want to help. How can you not want to support. I hope to never need St. Jude but its comforting to know they are there.

    • Yes I feel the same way Mimi. You can’t not want to support.

  • Sizable Chic

    What a wonderful opportunity. St. Jude is a special organization and I love their philosophy.

  • Tyra

    I am a huge St. Jude fan. I love that they never turn away a child because of lack of money. I love this campaign and kudos for taking part!

    • Yes, no child gets turned away for financial reason. It was really an honor to be part of this experience.

  • I’ve heard so many great things about St. Judes. Wow! $2million per day to run St. Judes, I had no idea. I love how they connected with bloggers to spread the word about the awesome work they do for children with cancer.

    • Yes $2 Million! Just that figure alone makes me more motivated to support their work.

  • It’s so great when you see bloggers give back in ways that really make a difference. Especially in the lives of children. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • MJ

    My heart swells when I read, watch and listen to anything St. Jude related. I’ve long followed and supported their cause. Families deserve the best shot for their little ones and St. Jude leads the way. I am so happy to know an ambassador personally. This is the stuff that changes your life forever. Kudos to you Vee. Looking ward to your journey with St. Jude and ways that I can do more.

    • It definitely changes you and makes you really want to do more. Thanks for your support MJ. Love you friend <3